As trade deadline nears, scouts watch Braves prospect Anderson dominate

The big-league Braves didn’t play Thursday, but two of the organization’s top pitching prospects were in action and drew more attention than usual because of the fast-approaching trade deadline.

Ian Anderson, 21-year-old right-hander, struck out nine and allowed three hits, two walks and one unearned run in 5-1/3 innings for the Double-A Mississippi Braves. He struck out seven consecutive batters at one point.

Scouts from nine major-league organizations reportedly were on hand for the game at Jackson, Tenn. They saw Anderson lower his ERA to 2.66 and raise his strikeout total for the season to 138, the most in Double-A baseball this year.

Anderson was hardly the only draw for scouts as the prospect-laden M-Braves team also features prized outfielders Cristian Pache and Drew Waters, both of whom are 20 years old.

Meanwhile, Kyle Wright, 23-year-old right-hander, pitched Thursday for the Braves’ Triple-A Gwinnett Stripers, allowing three earned runs on seven hits in six innings at Louisville. He struck out six and walked none.

No word on how many scouts were on hand for Gwinnett’s game, but the Mets reportedly were represented there by assistant general manager Allard Baird. (Omar Minaya, a Mets special assistant to the GM, was among the scouts at Mississippi’s game. The Mets’ enticing potential trade pieces include starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard and closer Edwin Diaz and perhaps starter Zack Wheeler.)

 

Baseball’s trade deadline is 4 p.m. Wednesday. By then, the Braves will have to decide whether to part with coveted prospects in exchange for player(s) who could help the team reach the postseason and, beyond that, win a playoff series for the first time in 18 years.

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Leadoff links

> The Braves lead the Nationals by 4-1/2 games and the Phillies by 5-1/2 in the NL East, entering an important road trip that starts tonight with the first of three games at Philadelphia and continues next week with three at Washington. Read Michael Cunningham's column.

> "The time is now," Falcons defensive end Vic Beasley tells the AJC's D. Orlando Ledbetter at training camp.

> One key for Georgia Tech's football team when practice opens next week will be keeping up with its coach, Steve Hummer writes.